the mystery of breakfast
Is breakfast good for you? Is breakfast bad for you? Is it good for you to listen to yourself and your own body needs and to test the information you find and come to your own conclusion? I’m saying yes to the last question. I listed below the pros and cons of eating breakfast

Is breakfast bad and unhealthy for you?

Many people feel hungrier during the day after eating breakfast. When you’re more productive in the afternoon, and tired, hungry and grumpy in the morning, it’s probably because you’re eating breakfast. When you eat breakfast, you eat it within a window where your body is in a heightened response state, and thus breaks down and digests breakfast faster than any other meal.  The result is that two hours later, you’re starving, irritable and distracted.  Not a good combination when lunch is at some uncertain point on the horizon.  In contrast, not eating breakfast will save you from that situation.

But isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day?

No.  While the first meal you eat in a day, literally breaking your fast,  may be the day’s most important, “breakfast” as it has come to be understood as eating pop tarts before 8 am is very bad for you.

Breakfast:

  • doesn’t increase your metabolism. Studies show that fasting or less frequent meals don’t decrease your metabolism. And eating every 3 hours, including breakfast, doesn’t increase your metabolism neither. People promoting intermittent fasting have shown the opposite is true: your metabolic rate increases slightly when you fast.
  • doesn’t manage blood sugar well. The common advice is to have breakfast to raise your blood sugar and control your insulin levels. Insulin is key for muscle growth but is also responsible for fat storage. Fasting reduces your insulin levels and increases insulin sensitivity dramatically more than eating small frequent meals do. People with diabetes have reported they managed their blood sugar better using Intermittent Fasting.
  • is not healthier, people who don’t eat breakfast are usually the ones who don’t exercise and who grab a donut on their way to work, eat junk food at noon and a big dinner in front of the TV.
  • impairs concentration. Studies show fasting for 48 hours doesn’t impact cognitive tests negatively. You don’t need breakfast for mental alertness. A lot of people, especially students, skip breakfast because they know they’ll be more productive, concentrated and motivated during the rest of the day as a result.
  • is unnatural. Our ancestors probably didn’t eat large breakfasts: they’d have to hunt it first. This could be why many people’s instinct is to skip breakfast. Some say cereal companies pushed the idea that breakfast is healthy for their own benefits.

Is breakfast good and healthy for you?

It has been said many times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After a long period without eating your blood sugar levels will be low. Skipping breakfast can mean your body will start to crave something sweet and you’ll end up snacking on unhealthy foods.

Start the day with a filling and nutritious meal and you will give your metabolism a kick start. You’ll feel full until lunch time with no temptation to snack your way through the morning. Some studies have also shown that eating breakfast (high carbohydrate/low fat) can make you more alert and assertive to face the day.

Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration. Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight. Hunger sets in long before it’s time for lunch. People who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up their daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a simple breakfast would have provided. Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the morning and helps to prevent that mid-morning slump.

Not eating breakfast could be damaging your long-term health

  • The irregularity in eating habits that results from not eating breakfast also tends to cause individuals to eat more food in general. Depending on someone’s personal food choices, this excess eating can lead to weight gain, obesity, high cholesterol, and other health problems. Starting the day off right with an energy-dense, high-protein meal, on the other hand, can help effectively regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day, tame sugar and fat cravings, and promote lasting vitality.
  • According to a study presented at the American Heart Association (AHA)’s annual conference back in 2003, eating breakfast can actually help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular illness. Because it stimulates proper blood sugar production and regulation, eating breakfast can help protect the heart, vital organs, digestive system, and brain from damage, as well as promote longevity. Another 2003 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who regularly skip breakfast are 450 percent more likely to become obese than people who regularly eat breakfast. Eating fast food for breakfast; however, was found to have similar health risks as not eating any breakfast at all.
  • Breakfast helps set the tone for the rest of the day. If you’re one of those people who think skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight… think again. Here are the top reasons why you should definitely eat breakfast, every day:
  • Break the fast. Ever think of what “breakfast” means? Your body responds to not eating for hours and hours by slowing down it’s metabolic rate. By eating breakfast, you wake up your metabolism and get your engine humming, burning those calories you need to burn to lose weight.
  • Eat more, weigh less. Researchers have repeatedly shown that people who eat breakfast have a better chance of losing weight, and keeping it off. When you skip meals, you’re so hungry by lunchtime you’d eat an entire cow! Research carried out at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh has shown that eating breakfast cereal in the morning helps aid weight loss.
  • Are you interested in doing better at work and school? Don’t be a bed head… breakfast helps wake you up. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are more alert and do better on tests than people who skip breakfast. Conversely, a hungry child can be apathetic, disinterested, and irritable when confronted with difficult tasks. Breakfast is the key.” No doubt adults need breakfast as much as kids do.
  • Breakfast is your chance to eat the foods you may not eat the rest of the day.You can have whole-grain cereal and berries with non-fat milk – here is your fibre, folic acid and calcium in one easy-to-grab bowl. Low-carbers need to go very easy on grains, so opt for the highest-fibre brand you can find. However, why not indulge instead in the typical eggs and lean bacon breakfast most other eating plans frown upon?
  • Skipping breakfast makes you grouchy. Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to be in better moods (when I’m hungry – watch out!). Breakfast gets you started on the right track for the day. If you start out with a healthy breakfast, then you set the mood for lunch. You’re more likely to choose something reasonable for lunch if you’ve paid some attention to your breakfast choices.
  • Cancel the Danish or sugared doughnut first thing in the morning – they cause a blood sugar dip a couple of hours later. You’ll be desperate for something to perk you up, and are more likely to grab another high-sugar refined carb, for a quick sugar rush.
  • One more word about labels… if it says, “Nutritious,” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. Cereal manufacturers are experts in marketing, using words that send a message of health, but unless you read the labels, eat at your own risk. Kids’ cereals often have more sugar than sweets. Protect your kids from getting hooked on these cereals… they’ll get used to all the sugar, and will want only pre-sweetened cereal.

 

Resources:

http://www.guardianeatright.co.uk/news/article.cfm?article_id=1178

http://www.naturalnews.com/037595_skipping_meals_breakfast_weight_gain.html

http://stronglifts.com/7-reasons-why-you-should-not-eat-breakfast/